The price of a Croton and giving them away for free

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by fawnridge, Dec 8, 2011.

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  1. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Western Boca Raton
    If we truly want to expand interest in this plant and preserve the rare ones, why are some of us trying to sell them at ridiculously high prices? Now, before any of you professional growers / nursery owners start screaming about profits, I'm excluding you from that first question. You make a living selling plants and I'm the last person on earth to begrudge a business person from making a profit. But the rest of us, the amateur growers, the backyard nurserymen, we should do everything we can to spread the wealth. Okay, you've got an investment of soil, water, and fertilizer; no argument there. How much do you really think it costs to grow a nice cutting from a one-gallon to a three-in-the-pot 3-gallon can? Would you be surprised if I told you the average is less than $10.00 over two years?

    I've been tracking my costs for almost six years. Together, Randy and I grew almost 350 plants this past season. When you figure in the cost of potting soil, the water used by the mistbed, and the bag of fertilizer, I spent $1725. That's the first year. Next year, they just grow and get water. Do I have a hope of getting that money back by selling plants? If I hadn't given them all away (after the best stuff was planted in my garden or Randy's), yeah, I might have had a shot at it. But at that level, it makes more sense to me to just do it for the sake of keeping a variety alive.

    We've got another Croton meeting coming up in the Spring at Tiki Rick's. If you're a backyard grower, like me, consider what you'd like to do with your plants. Think about what they're really worth in the long run. And if you're a collector, with some really rare varieties, what happens if you lose them in a cold snap? Wouldn't it be better if there were others spread around the state?
  2. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    I'm hoping the new Croton Society being forged will make sharing rare and not so rare plants a priority. I've enjoyed exchanging plants with nurserymen and other hobbyists for years without charging or being charged a penny. I just wish there were some more rare ones in my own collection to offer the hardcore, exotic cultivar growers we have around the state.

    I did charge one person in the past (sorry Bren) and felt badly about it. Since then, I've given her air layers for free to make up for it.
  3. Crotonologist

    Crotonologist Active Member

    southern Louisiana USDA 9a
    Hey, I'm easy - I'm just looking for hardwood cuttings - sticks with no leaves - and or ripe seedpods, and I'm willing to pay shipping and handling costs...

    Thanks to the Moose I have some nice Black Beauty, "Grandma", and a few others started, only he wouldn't let me pay him, so hopefully I can return the favor someday...

    I know it's a little bit of trouble, but if anyone is cutting plants back, cleaning up broken plants, etc., I have a greenhouse waiting for some more sticks...
    Like they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure...

    For anyone willing to pick and send ripe seedpods, I would share cuttings of any new cultivars back to the seed sender...

  4. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    St. Pete FL

    I think you've gifted me all my crotons. I think I've only bought palms from you. I'll have plenty to share this upcoming year!
  5. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Esteemed Member

    You have several valid points in your statement.First I have been the the recipient of several gifted crotons and also gifted several myself.That said the last meeting at Jeff's brought out many crotons that I had never even seen before (Lucille Alonso,Embassy etc) to name a few.These crotons would never have seen the light of day under the previous auction structure.The meeting was well attended and with so many truly rare items, I cannot remember anyone complaining about having to buy a croton.I bought 2 myself and was very happy to pay $25.00 for a nice William Craig and a Yellow Bird.If we go back to the old structure we will still have wonderful meetings but many of these rarer items will remain under lock and key.I personally prefered having the option of buying these rarer items.Under a gift/trade only structure I doubt these varieties would have been there. Just my 2 cents :)

  6. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Ricky - I have been reflecting on your post. As stated by Mike (Bullwinkle) you do bring out some valid issues. Mike also brings out some valid issues as well. If and when a "new" Society is re-energized, I think that the auctions would be a valuable tool to raise funds.

    I would like to see an auction in a 50 / 50 type format. 50 % to the Society and 50 % to the donator. This may encourage some rare cultivars being offered. This would also help the donator recoup some associated costs, i.e. Spagnum moss, fertilizer, soil and insecticides. Most would probably re-cycle the funds in securing some variety they did not already have.

    I offered crotons in the silent auction format. I may have broken even? Plus I gave others away. There are many attendees that contribute food, drinks, ice, plates, napkins, etc ... and then those who don't. In my opinion, I also feel that the host of a garden tour should receive a modest stipend for incidental costs, etc ...

    Yes, I think that we need to be more accomodating to newbies. I was intimidated seeing small plants going for $25, $30, $40, ... at my first meeting. That is why I bring relatively common stuff at reasonable $, so a newbie can have a decent sized healthy plant that should do very well for them. Then the bug can bite them. :rolleyes:

    Just some food for thought.

    Ron :)

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